Rain to keep Delhi’s air quality in check in wettest August in 5 years

The rain has ensured that August already has had two ‘Good’ air days with air quality index (AQI) of 50.
The IMD has forecast light rain and thundershowers in Delhi over the next week(HT PHOTO)
The IMD has forecast light rain and thundershowers in Delhi over the next week(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 23, 2020 10:28 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Light rain and thundershowers expected over the next week are likely to keep air quality in ‘satisfactory’ category, officials in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said Sunday.

Delhi received a spell of ‘heavy’ to very heavy’ rainfall on August 20-21. “As per the forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the week, it is expected that air quality will remain in the ‘satisfactory’ category and may even improve to ‘good’. The continuous spell of showers has washed out the pollutants in the air. Since August 20, the air quality index (AQI) has been below 60 in the ‘satisfactory’ zone, which is a good sign,” said a senior CPCB official.

At 8 am on Sunday, Delhi’s AQI was 51, as per CPCB data. On Saturday, the 24-hour average AQI was 56 while on Friday it was 57. On Thursday (August 20), the city experienced a ‘Good’ air day with an AQI reading of 50. This was the second ‘good’ air day in the month of August and third for this year so far.

Previously, on August 13, Delhi’s AQI was recorded ‘50’ in the ‘good’ zone after heavy rainfall.

The first ‘Good’ air day was recorded on March 28 with an AQI reading of 45, during the first week of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

An AQI reading between 0-50 is considered ‘good’ with no health impact. On a scale of 51-100 is considered ‘satisfactory’, which means it may have a minimal impact on the health of sensitive people such as those having chronic breathing difficulties.

Scientists at the IMD said that with another week of rain forecast, this August is likely to become among the wettest in the last five years.

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